Organic vs. Man-Made Roofing Materials

Roofing materials can be divided into organic options – those that are made primarily from natural substances – and man-made or synthetic materials, which are made from processed factory products. Both options have their own benefits, so before picking one side or the other, take some time to review the characteristics of these roofing categories.

Organic materials

Organic roofing materials aren’t quite like the organic foods you find in the store – they are not necessarily local, sustainable, or good for losing weight. However, they do have several advantages, especially when it comes to appearance. Organic roof materials tend to have warmer, more natural colors that can match the surrounding landscape more easily than man-made materials and lend your house an elegant look, whether you prefer ornate or modern styles.

Common organic options include:

Wood Shakes/Shingles: Wood shakes and shingles offer warm colors and a very unique look to your home, particularly for cottage and traditional styles. However, wood shingles may be more susceptible to moisture issues and wind damage, and they cost twice as much as asphalt shingles.

Slate: Slate, usually cut into shingles or panels, is an excellent choice for giving your roof a traditional gray look, but with a rich texture and interesting variance in shading. Slate has excellent durability and a very long life span, but it is one of the most expensive materials on the market. The weight of slate (which is, after all, stone) could also be a problem on some rooftops.

Clay/Ceramic: Clay tiles walk the line between organic and synthetic with their kiln-fired, reddish materials. These tiles are an excellent option for arid, hot areas and will often match these environments and many others.

Man-made roofing materials

Man-made, synthetic materials are primarily produced in a factory and may be made with synthetic materials like plastic and other oil derivatives. While these may not have the advantages of organic materials, they do have their own benefits, especially when it comes to weight and price, both of which tend to be low. Man-made materials also come a wider variety of colors and style options than organic materials, making them ideal if you are looking for a very particular shade.

Asphalt Shingles: Asphalt shingles are some of the most common and least expensive options around.

Metal: From copper to stainless steel and aluminum, metal panels are heavy but have great durability and a modern appearance.

Synthetic Stone/Concrete: Synthetic stone materials can mimic the look of slate or metal but without the weight (and often at a lower price). However, they may not have the longevity of stronger materials.

Final Decisions

Ultimately, your roof decisions will come down to what matches your house and what offers you the most quality for the price you are willing to pay. In addition to picking out roofing materials, don’t forget to pick out your underlayments as well – they, too, can come in organic and synthetic options.

The expert roofers at Findlay Roofing want to help you pick roofing materials. Call them today!

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